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Lady Val
Tue Jun 02 2009, 06:35PM
Registered Member #75
Joined: Sat Nov 01 2008, 03:22PM
Posts: 475
The (Richmond) Daily Dispatch - June 3rd, 1863
Mosby again at work.
On Friday last Major Mosby's command attacked the passenger train from Alexandria at or near Catlett's Station, in Prince William county. There were on board the train at the time quite a number of soldiers and civilians some two to three hundred of whom were captured. A shot from a small field piece was fired into the boiler of the locomotive, so disabling it as to prevent its further progress, when the train was captured and burned. Before he had succeeded in removing the prisoners and stores on the train Mosby was assailed by a heavy force of the enemy, supposed to be a brigade, and in consequence of his being overpowered, his men scattered, and the prisoners, most of them, escaped. He did not retire, however, until he had charged the Yankees twice and inflicted some injury upon them. The loss on our side is represented to have been very slight, but the number of killed and wounded we have not ascertained.-----

This is the first battle that Mosby ever fought with artillery and he found that it created a problem he had not foreseen. The sound of the little "mountain howitzer" roused nearby Union cavalry and the Rangers didn't have the time to pillage the train that ordinarily presented.

Mosby and a few men - including the artillerymen - drew off while the rest of the command "skedaddled". At least three times, they stood at bay and were charged, the cannon inflicting fairly heavy casualties upon the Yankees. However, they eventually ran out of ammunition and after one final discharge by the cannoneers and a charge by Mosby and a few mounted men, the matter closed with the Yankees recapturing the little piece.

British Ranger Hoskins was mortally wounded and artilleryman and Ranger Samuel Chapman was also badly wounded in the thigh as he fought near the gun using the ramrod as a weapon. Chapman was paroled on the field but recovered. Fountain Beattie, Mosby's old friend form the 1st Virginia, managed to escape and Mosby and those with him also rode through the Union charge. Mosby was struck on the shoulder by a saber wielded by large Yankee whom Mosby then shot. However, he carried the scar from the blow for the rest of his life. As he rode off into the woods, a tree branch knocked his hat off and another struck him in the face. He had to stop at a local farmhouse to wash the blood from his face and tend his aching shoulder. Still, General JEB Stuart said that he would gladly send Mosby another cannon if he could promise the sane "rate of exchange" as the first one.

Without any artillery, Mosby had difficulties mounting effective assaults against the railroads but he did his best and no cannon was used in the famous Greenback raid in October of 1864.
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